Category Archives: science journals behaving badly

The intellectual vacuity of New Scientist’s evolution issue: 4. The supposed importance of genetic drift in evolution

Genetic drift is the random change in frequencies of alleles (forms of a gene, like the A, B, and O alleles of the Landsteiner blood-group gene) due to random assortment of genes during meiosis and the fact that populations are limited in size. It is one of only a handful of evolutionary “forces” that can […]

The intellectual vacuity of New Scientist’s evolution issue: 3. The supposed importance of epigenetics in evolution

I’ll continue on with New Scientist‘s 13-section claim that the modern theory of evolution needs a reboot (see previous posts here and here), though I don’t know how much longer I can stand their uninformed palaver written by incurious journalists. Today we’l take up section 4: “There is more to inheritance than just genes”, which […]

The intellectual vacuity of New Scientist’s evolution issue: 1. Genetic plasticity

As I reported the other day, New Scientist has a special issue on evolution (photo below), which apparently consists of their admission that Darwin was right after all, along with a “feature special” described as follows: Our modern conception of evolution started with Charles Darwin and his idea of natural selection – “survival of the fittest” […]

Another predatory journal in “deadly need” of a paper

I doubt that there’s a scientist alive who doesn’t get one of these predatory journal pleas on a regular basis. They’re never in my field (this one is in agriculture and soil science!), and they are in deadly need of a 2-page opinion piece for the next issue of their sub-sub-substandard journal. I’d be tempted […]

The Washington Post refuses to correct scientific errors

Two days ago I analyzed an article about hybrid parrots that had just appeared in the Washington Post. It was grossly misleading in assuming that two parrots of different “species” (they weren’t—one was a hybrid) had mated and produced, lo, a parrot of another “new species” (also wrong). I tweeted my correction to the Washington […]

Former Scientific American editor, writing in the magazine, suggests that science may find evidence for God using telescopes and other instruments

I was quite appalled to see this new op-ed in Scientific American in which former contributing editor Mark Alpert trots out all the Great Unknowns of Science to answer his title question with a big “NO!”. God is still viable! Now the magazine does give a caveat at the end: “The views expressed are those of […]

Op-ed in science journal Nature disses science and “scientism”, questions Enlightenment values

Nathaniel Comfort, author of the risible Nature essay at hand (click on screenshot below), is a professor in the history of medicine at Johns Hopkins University. We’ve met him three times before on this site; he seems to be a postmodernist who dislikes genes, New Atheism, and Richard Dawkins.  Now he’s written about. . . . […]

Another ripoff journal and science publisher

So I need this article for my upcoming lectures on Antarctic biology. Sadly, the journal (Current Protein and Peptide Science) isn’t in our university’s e-library, so I have to either buy it (see below) or request it via Interlibrary loan. I will of course do the latter, so readers needn’t send it to me, and […]

Dong-ta-ra-con-ching! An insane paper, accepted by a Springer-Verlag journal, is now retracted

Reader Jonathan called my attention to post on the website Symptoms of the Universe by a physicist named Philip Moriarty. It points out what may be the craziest paper ever accepted by a decent mainstream science journal—at least in the last few decades. (I’m assuming that the journal Parasitology Research is reputable, though I may […]

Study published in Science isn’t replicated; journal refuses to publish the failure to replicate

Posting will probably be lighter than usual (even during my travels) over the next ten days, as I’m weary of arising at 4:30 to write posts, and, more important, I’m off to the Big Island soon for traveling and snorkeling. I’ll try to keep the Hili dialogues going, although it’s tough without Grania, but bear […]